Poundstretcher Brighton

BDO refused to sign off on the budget retailer’s cashflow forecast in its latest annual accounts

Poundstretcher has become the latest retailer to lose its auditor after a risk assessment by one of Britain’s biggest accounting firms (The Times £). BDO resigned as auditor of the budget chain after reviewing its client portfolio and assessing the “commercial risk and reward associated with the audit of the company”, a letter filed to Companies House this month shows. The accounting firm refused to sign off on the budget retailer’s cashflow forecast in its latest annual accounts.

Waitrose and the Co-op are cutting prices on hundreds of essential goods this week as supermarkets prepare to battle it out for customers ahead of a budget Christmas season (The Guardian).

Grocery bills have fallen after an initial rise at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis as a supermarket price war takes hold (The Telegraph). But experts warn that another wave of Covid-19 restrictions could see prices rise again.

A surge in demand for disinfectants during the pandemic has led to better-than-expected quarterly sales at Reckitt Benckiser, prompting it raise its full-year forecasts (The Times £).

The maker of Dettol and Lysol disinfectants, Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms said third-quarter like-for-like net revenue growth, a key metric for the sector, was 13.3% — above the 9.5% that analysts had expected (The Financial Times £).

The end of the national lockdown spurred a summer of love that revived condom sales at market leader Durex (The Guardian). Global sales at the condom brand, owned by Reckitt, jumped more than 10% over the summer months when a respite from coronavirus restrictions enabled people to rekindle their sex lives.

Reckitt said demand for condoms and sexual health products was particularly strong in China, where Covid has all but vanished, but rose in many countries as lockdowns were eased and people from different households were allowed to meet again (The Telegraph).

The Mail calls Reckitt “a true Covid winner” and says the craze for cleaning induced by the coronavirus pandemic is showing no sign of abating after the initial stockpiling.

Procter & Gamble has lifted its full-year sales and profit forecasts after a global boom in house cleaning extended into the autumn, with shoppers willing to pay for brand-name household goods despite the downturn (The Financial Times £).

Procter & Gamble reported its strongest quarterly sales growth in 15 years as demand for home hygiene products soared (The Times £).

British makers of sausages, pies and minced beef are facing a potentially crippling hit to their trade with Europe because of EU rules requiring prepared meat products to be imported in frozen form, the industry has warned (The Financial Times £). The meat industry fears that unless UK negotiators can secure an exemption to the rules, EU customers will look elsewhere for premium chilled products.

Asda is to unveil a strategy to help cut down on single-use plastics, pledging that “greener” products without packaging will not carry a hefty price tag, as it opens a sustainability trial store (The Guardian).

Britvic put some fizz back in its share price yesterday by announcing it had secured a new 20-year bottling deal with Pepsico (The Times £).

The Mail reports that Britvic shares fizzed as the soft drinks company announced its summer sales were ahead of expectations. Its brands, including Robinsons squash and Fruit Shoots, were popular with Britons during the hotter months and the firm has now raised its profit guidance for the year.

As Wales prepares to shut down all non-essential shops, local retailers look ahead to a difficult winter (The Telegraph).

Boots roped off office toilets for executives during the pandemic, making it harder for ordinary employees to practise social distancing, the Guardian has learned (The Guardian).

Nearly 20 years after the world’s major chocolate manufacturers pledged to abolish employment abuses, hazardous child labour remains rife in their supply chains, a new study finds (The Guardian).

Concerns have been raised about the strength of the government’s clampdown on pre-pack administrations after it ordered mandatory independent reviews of sales to connected parties (The Times £). The organisation that represents insolvency professionals has warned that the system is at risk of abuse.